Doug Coward's Analog Computer Museum and History Center logo

Welcome to the Analog Computer Museum and History Center

This museum only exists here on the web. There is no physical museum (yet).
Information presented is for educational purposes only.
Please address any comments or suggestions to

What is an analog computer?

    Simply, an analog computer is a computing device that has two distinguishing characteristics:
  • 1.   Performs operations in a truly parallel manner. Meaning it can perform many calculations all at the same time.
  • 2.   And operates using continuous variables. Meaning it uses numbers that that change not in steps, but change in a smooth continuous manner.

    By constrast, a digital computer can only perform sequential (one at a time) operations, and operates on discrete (noncontinuous) numbers.

So, why have a museum?

    Because today analog computers are virtually unknown.
Analog computers have a long history dating back to prehistory, but with the recent development of the microprocessor these computers and their technology has been discarded and is quickly being lost to history.
    Our mission is to help preserve some of this technology and to provide a source of information for people that want to use this technology.

Our Lobby display case

Philbrick Model K2-W Opamp
Model K2-W opamp with and without it's Bakelite shell.
photo copyright Doug Coward 2000
Model K2-W computing opamp
George A. Philbrick Researches
This is a general purpose computing opamp. First introduced in 1952.

Downloadable PDF files

READ this 1960 Argonne National Laboratory report
"Introduction to Electronic Analogue Computing" courtesy of Jim Benson
CLICK HERE (556K PDF file - requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader)

READ this great educational/hands on article about analog computers by George Fox Lang
appearing in the August 2000 issue of Sound and Vibration magazine.
CLICK HERE (541K PDF file - requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Our Library and some suggested reading

Some interesting artifacts

Some manufacturers of mechanical analog computers

Some manufacturers of electro-mechanical analog computers

Some manufacturers of electronic analog computers

Other manufacturers I need more information about

  • ACEC
  • Societe pour l'Etude et la Realisation des Procedes Electroniques de Calul Analac (ANALAC)
  • Douglas Aircraft Co, Inc.
  • EDAC
  • GPS Instruments
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nippon Electric Co.
  • Redifon Ltd.
  • Simulation Systems Inc.

What is an analog computer?
Some analog computer history